The Golden Future Campaign: 50 Years & Counting!

The Museum has been incredibly lucky to have had the support of many passionate individuals over the past 50 years.

For the Golden Future Campaign we are delighted to have the support of our Campaign Ambassadors:


Hugh Bonneville (picture supplied by PR)Hugh Bonneville, Golden Globe winner and Emmy nominee, TV, Film and Theatre actor and West Sussex local. Currently starring as Robert, Earl of Grantham, in the ITV’s Downton Abbey now a major motion picture.

“This wonderfully vibrant museum of architecture shows how life and work has adapted and changed down the centuries. Placing buildings from different eras side by side it transports us through time, bringing our shared history to life, inviting us to explore our past and ignite our imagination for the future.

With its wide ranging calendar of live events relating to conservation and preservation, as well as demonstrations of traditional crafts, such as wool-making, wood turning, flour making, blacksmith techniques and many more, the museum experience really does offer something for everyone.

I am delighted to support the Weald & Downland Living Museum in celebrating all that this innovative institution has achieved over the past 50 years, to ensure it can continue its inspiring work for the next generation and beyond.”


Dr Jonathan FoyleDr Jonathan Foyle, Architectural Historian, broadcaster and heritage advocate, current presenter of BBC2’s ‘Climbing Great Buildings’.

“Descriptions of history seldom convey a visceral experience. That’s the glory of the historic environment.

However, while millions visit the grand set-pieces of cathedrals, palaces and castles, the everyday sort of houses that sustained our ancestors have been lost, or evolved beyond recognition through countless comforts and mod cons.

The Weald & Downland Living Museum allows you to step back in time, to smell and feel and touch the past they knew.”


Ruth GoodmanRuth Goodman, social and domestic historian, host of several television series including Victorian Farm and Victorian Farm Christmas as well as presenting a variety of films for The One Show and Coast.

“I love the Weald & Downland Living Museum for so many reasons. I love the peace and quiet, the way it sits in the historic landscape and gently celebrates the traditional forms of land management. The coppiced woodland ringing with the sounds of the axe and redolent with charcoal burners smoke welcome me like a homecoming. The horses, oxen and adventurous hens make me smile.

The gardens meanwhile are an inspiration, always interesting and different as well as beautiful. They are full of lessons from the past with techniques, varieties and materials that perhaps can lead us into a less polluting future. I see them as hopeful spaces infused with intelligent care.

As for the buildings that form the core of the museum’s message, I adore their ordinariness. The homes and workplaces connect me with a living continuous tradition of family life. They remind me how very much we all live in and around similar buildings, adapted over and over again to more modern patterns but still carrying echoes of older ways. They help me to both feel a connection with the past, but also see the distance travelled, rather like a map unrolling backwards showing all the pathways, highways and byways, that connect this with that, making sense of our present cultural landscape.

And of course I love being able to do things. The active taking part, experimenting with history, the hands on sort of historical experience that is so well supported and explored at the Weald & Downland Living Museum. It is a rare place indeed that encourages people to get so stuck in and of course it therefore attracts a special breed of people as visitors, course attendees, volunteers and staff whose knowledge, enthusiasm and energy are a delight.”


We would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful and supportive museum & campaign ambassadors. The time and passion they have contributed towards the Weald & Downland Living Museum and their commitment to the Golden Future Campaign is of great value as we look towards the future.

The Golden Future Campaign.
Be part of something historic.

Learn how you can support the Museum or, if you choose, you can DONATE today.